Poem

MOTHER WRITES TO INDIRA GANDHI Dear Madam Just wondering, what’s transpiring? Why does India despair of your Emergency? Media are saying: Our star is fading While you’re busy sexing a swami. A pilot wants to bucklemeup in his sexjet. He’s pompous. Frequency has amplified. Madam G, hear my plea. Empty the sky. Show your ire.…

Poem

ASSIGNMENT Only Muslim in the workshop, I went on about the President’s Shocking and Awful on Iraq, civilization’s cradle, bombed back to the Stone Age for non-existent nukes sold by capitalist gunrunners. I am a witness, I said, I must howl: In every well in Baghdad a rafiq is weeping while long black coats (with…

Poem

TODAY WINDY THEN SHOWERS Gold-plated heels On heart-shaped leaves Calf-highs below Slim band of flesh Flirty pleats creased Above naked knees Ruby clutch releases Jangling of keys Wanton cornrows unbraided In last night's storm In last night's storm Wanton cornrows unbraided Jangling of Keys Ruby Clutch releases Above naked knees Flirty Pleats creased Slim band…

Poem

VERACITY Inspired by Rumi “May I borrow your donkey?”A neighbor asked Kavanagh Who said, “I'm very sorry,I loaned out my donkey yesterday.” At that moment, the donkey brayedIn the barn. The neighbor, believing The donkey made Kavanagh a liar,Asked “Then what is that I hear?” Kavanagh replied, “Friend, are you goingTo believe me or a…

Poem

MY MOTHER’S SCRIBE Half-moon above the table Her face by candlelight Her upper lip twitches My right leg flutters In All Things Be Men The school motto on my cap Parker fountain pen Gold-plated nib Waterman's ink Eggshell paper My blue-black fingers Pilot her fervent verses To Prime Ministers of the World A moth at…

On the 66th anniversary of the birth of Pakistan: Pages from my father’s diary

by Rafiq Kathwari Srinagar, Kashmir, 14 August 1947 Thursday At Midnight two dominions of Pakistan and Hindustan will take birth: Whole day busy with tomorrow's celebrations. Pakistan Government has instructed Superintendent Post Office Srinagar to fly the Pakistan flag tomorrow on all the post office buildings. The Kashmir government does not want this to happen.…

Poem

INTERWEB From: Linda@coolmaildotcom“Dreamed about you and Sarah.Never thought I’d miss you.Thanks for watering the palm.” From: Sarah@hootmaildotcom“Bought you the perfect jumper,It’s Cashmere, large, maroon.The best is yet 2B.” I float up Broadwayto tend to Linda’s palm.Kneeling by her kitchen islandlast year I said: “Marry me.” Had she been cooking solein the juice of tangerines?“O dear.…

Poem

BETTER A DOG THAN YOUNGER BROTHER —Persian proverb When did I start seeing him father-figure?It wasn’t an endearment shining shoesfor my older brother. Himalayasshaped his character. I couldn’t call out his name. “We don’t address our fatherusing first name, Harry the shrink said.“He can’t help but see you as kid brotherbut, remember, he gets into…